Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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REVIVAL OF THE MILITARY ART.                   2$
and the fact that Digges in his " Arithmetical Warlike Treatise" (1579) speaks of a "chief drummer," which in a later edition (1590) is altered to "drum major," enables us to fix a date even earlier. Although the rank appears on the establishment of regiments in the early seventeenth century, he seems to have dropped out during the Commonwealth. Afterwards, only the Foot Guards have him officially, and then the Royal Artillery. Marching regiments were not allowed a drum major (although they were rarely without one)10 until 1810.1 The special feature of the drum major is his " staff." When this was adopted I have no know­ledge. Sometimes the drum major is described as the principal or solo drummer; but that he wielded the " staff" in some corps is evident from a " staff" pre­served by the Honourable Artillery Company, bearing the date 1671.
""Military Dictionary," 1778. 'James, " Military Companion," 1811.
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